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SM-900 is letting me down... What to buy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jquinn86, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Looking to get into a lightweight head, maybe a mb fusion 800 when it comes out, or a shuttle 9. I love the way my SWR sounds, its always been better than whatever backline i've had provided for me at festivals. I'm not totally convinced on the digital power supply of the little guys, do they really sound as good? Is cooling ever an issue?
  2. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    If you like SWR why not check out a headlite 400 ? I hsd s SM500 and ust couldnt get into it. Switch to a GK800rb and couldnt be happier.
  3. I tried out the headlite the other day and that's kind of what got me into the mini bass heads. I thought it sounded really good. I'm looking for more power than 400 watts though, and pairing it with an amplite seems to be a little expensive and redundant.
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    You could run the headlite into a poweramp which would give lots of power and swr tone you like.

    Also the gk mb800 might be worth looking into if you like the gk sound. The genz SL900 is also quite nice. Both are plenty loud.
  5. Jheake


    Jan 21, 2010
    Gilbert az
    Everyone always gripes about the power of the headlite. I dont get it. I have one and its plenty loud. You just can't be scared off by the flashing LED lndicator for hitting the power amps limit.

    Pair one with 2 210 golights or the 4 ohm 410 and you have a very powerful loud, lightweight setup thats around 60lbs total. Ive never had an issue keeping up with my band, or live with this amp. IMO its one of the better sounding preamps from the newer lines of SWR.
  6. I have personally never grooved on SWR amps. I have had great experiences with Eden and Genz Benz, and aside from reliability issues great sounds from Mesa.
  7. Mousekillaz


    Nov 25, 2009
    Anacortes Wa.
    A SWR SM1500 should do the trick.
    Class D power amps have been around for awhile now. I'm not sure, but I think that they are all pretty much based on the same (Texas Instruments) module/chip from brand to brand so the preamp is where the magic still resides.
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Genz Benz , Genz Benz, Genz Benz
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    As a former SM900 user I feel your pain. However there are a few things you can do that keep the amp cooler if you're interested in keeping it.

    The most useful thing you can do is to add ventilation to the case. I took the lid off mine and drilled what must have been 100 holes in the top and then I epoxied some metal screen to the inside to keep anything large from accidentally falling inside the holes.

    Second, I always had a clip on fan for the back of my rack. It was cheaper than going with a rack mount fan although certainly not as pretty.

    Third, I ditched the rack tuner and left an empty rack space on top of the amp and made sure my rack had a little space on the bottom for circulation as well.

    Yes it's a lot of trouble but it works and doesn't cost much. I think the metal screen was $3 cut to dimension and the clip on fan was $10.

    But if you're ready to move on, Aguilar and EBS are my two favorite micro heads right now. The EBS is a little larger but it's just fantastic sounding.
  10. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    You're giving it proper speaker load aren't you?
    What ohms you running?
  11. I'm running it at 4, just like it should be run. I've got a high rpm fan blowing right into the intake, and an empty space above the amp with a vented panel. There is plenty of air getting into the amp, maybe just not enough expelling it from the rack. I could try another fan just clearing air out, and maybe a screen on the chassis... Is there a point though? Aren't the smaller, lighter amps now just as good? Am I hauling around a 50 lb case for nothing?
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    It could need a bias. They will run hot if they do.
    I'm not ignoring your possible gassing.:)
    Just thought if it were cool.....it'd be cool.
  13. The micro amps use a switch mode power supply and basically a switch mode output (class D). They are not a digital amp. They do run very cool as the efficiency is much higher than linear power supplies and class a,AB or class H outputs. Less energy coming into the amp from the wall is wasted as heat.

    Look into the G-K MB800 unless you want to wait for the MB Fusion 800. The MB800 was just reviewed by BGM. An Honest 800 watts at 4 ohms with over 1000 watts sustained burst. Just be careful with your speakers ;)
  14. This is a strong possibility.
  15. Thanks guys, I am actually really interested in the mb 800 or the fusion. Is there any cons to the mb 800. Everything I've heard has been favorable. Maybe I'll give that review a look.
  16. Cons.....it can toast speakers if you are not careful with poorly rated speaker cabs ;)
  17. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Sm900s are great heads, but a lot of the micros get a similar sound with a lot less weight and heat. I'm thinking Genz shuttlemax 9.2 would do the trick. Tube channel is pretty SWR ish with some eq. GK I great too but a different sound. You might also dig an Aguilar db751.
  18. Tried an MB 500, and a Fusion today. Thoroughly impressed. I will be picking up the Fusion after I sell my SWR.
  19. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Genz Shuttlemax 9.2 or a Genz Streamliner 900. I own both and love them.
  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I know you like the new amp.
    This was on that Goliath Senior thread....

    Ya, it's an oddity, but you can bias these amps. The bias on the MOSFET's in these amps can drift and the output can suffer as a result. This happened to a display model when I sold these years ago, the guy who set up the amp did not flip the switch to "Bridge" and over time the amp lost it punch and would get really hot. We sent it back to SWR and Paul Herman said that one of the power amps had become over biased...I was shocked by this, being that it's solid state. And I could be remembering this wrong... Here is a thread that has the procedure...

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